The Wayward Wishing Spell

Celebrate the 10th anniversary edition of this fairytale book


Fairy tales, magical objects, quests of a lifetime, and secrets no one sees coming are all components used to create “The Land of Stories: A Wishing Spell” by Chris Colfer, a spectacularly written novel. This novel follows twins who miraculously find their way into the fairytale world, where they must embark on a journey to find a way back home.

Written to be read by the middle-grade age group, these powerful lessons become useful for people of any age. This is usually overlooked. How help comes in the most unexpected forms, to show mercy and kindness, and to seek curiosity showcase the themes throughout the novel. Throughout the novel, these prominent themes help the twins, Alex and Conner Bailey, to develop into young adults. 

Conflicts arise when the twins become stuck in the fairytale world and must complete a scavenger hunt for magical items that grant them passage back home to the Otherworld, all while encountering new friends and foes. This experience leads them to all corners of this new land where they explore a world vividly different from our own, until they learn that they are not the only ones gathering items for the Wishing Spell. Their pace quickens as the urgency sets in. All the while both of them feel something strange. Something connecting them to the land, which leads up to a super intense resolution. 

Sometimes, books meant for certain audiences are not able to handle serious topics in the book, but Colfer effortlessly sets up conversations about serious topics that are even appropriate to younger readers. One thing people should not underestimate is that they are never too old to read fairy tales because they have important impacts and teach new ways to view a topic. 

While reading this book, readers may feel childhood nostalgia as classic fairy tale character appearances from Cinderella and Snow White to Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks, to brand new characters from Trobella and The Sea Foam. Other feelings could include curiosity throughout reading the novel since there are a variety of underlying clues. They paint a bigger picture that makes sense of all the small details. 

The intricate details put into this book gives a spin to the classic fairy tales known by the world today. There are connections to each story which displays a side of the characters we think we know, when in reality we have no idea what action comes next. 

Compared to other works by Chris Colfer, such as “Struck by Lightning” this book is fairly different because it is intended for a younger audience. Additionally, it falls into the fantasy category while the other novels fall under comedy and realistic fiction. 

This book consists of 433 pages to introduce readers to a new world where things are not always as they seem, where the villains may not even be the villains and the heroes may not be the heroes. And  just when it gets good and the reader wants to keep reading, the book is over. If the book caught the reader’s interest, and it most likely did, they will rush to go find the second book of the six in the series “The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns”.